MENTAL HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL CONTROL
Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D.
The role of elite corporations and foundations in promoting social control over the masses via the mental health and mental hygiene movements cannot be overestimated. James McKeen Cattell was president of The Psychological Corporation (founded in 1921), and he wrote that "whatever the people have thought over the years that the various Carnegie organizations were contributing to education, their mission, as stated, has been 'to promote the extension of applied psychology'." William James (father of American Psychology) founded the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, and according to B. K. Eakman in CLONING OF THE AMERICAN MIND: ERADICATING MORALITY THROUGH EDUCATION, he "persuaded Rockefeller to contribute millions to the National Committee for Mental Hygiene....The goal of the Committee was specifically to prevent mental illness, and its focus was elementary and secondary schools. The thrust of the Committee's philosophy was that mental illness hinged on faulty personality development in childhood and that, therefore, personality development should supersede all other educational objectives. Stress was seen as the chief culprit, and parents and other authority figures as the second. This anti-stress wisdom was echoed by the 1930 White House Conference on Child Health and Protection, which predictably revolved around a group of humanistic psychologists from Teachers College (Columbia University)."
John Dewey (Father of Progressive Education) led these psychologists, and he co-authored the first Humanist Manifesto in 1933. These humanistic psychologists believed society's values needed to be changed, but there would be resistance. In the official statement released by the International Congress on Mental Health, held in London in 1948, one finds: "The social sciences and psychiatry also offer a better understanding of the great obstacles to rapid progress in human affairs. Man and his society are closely interdependent. Social institutions such as family and school impose their imprint early in the personality development of their members, who in turn tend to perpetuate the traditional pattern to which they have been moulded. It is the men and women in whom these patterns of attitude and behavior have been incorporated who present the immediate resistance to social, economic and political changes."
The change Dewey and his fellow progressive educators wanted was toward socialism (he was with the Intercollegiate Socialist Society which later became the League for Industrial Democracy), which emphasizes the group over the individual. However, in Vice-Admiral H. G. Rickover's EDUCATION AND FREEDOM (1959), he explained that "our educational leaders have never received a clear mandate from the American people to follow the theories of John Dewey and his disciples. We have never authorized them to change the objectives of formal education from teaching basic subjects to conditioning children for group life." Rickover indicated that under the Soviet educational system of that time, "education was to be replaced by training; development of young minds by behavioral conditioning." Doesn't this sound like what is happening in America today under School-to-Work and values clarification?
By the 1960s, the progressive education philosophy of Teachers' College permeated the American public schools and there was a shift in emphasis from the cognitive (academic basics) to the affective (social relationships and feelings) domain. This marked the beginning of rampant grade inflation and social promotions which, it was believed, would reduce students' "stress." Also, it would be easier to exercise social control (manipulate) over people conditioned to emphasize "feelings" over "thinking."
After the shift to "feelings" had occurred, the journal MENTAL HYGIENE (which changed its name to M.H. in the early 1970s) had a new aim. According to Walter Bromberg in FROM SHAMAN TO PSYCHOTHERAPIST, this new aim was "to involve the 'growing number of citizens faced with major policy decisions' in public situations that affect mental health. These can be population control, abortions, ecology, civil rights, pollution, and social planning of many descriptions."
In the next decade, the president of the History of Education Society, Sol Cohen, delivered a speech in 1982 revealing the influence which the mental hygiene movement had on education. The speech was titled, "The Mental Hygiene Movement, the Development of Personality and the School: The Medicalization of American Education" (HISTORY OF EDUCATION QUARTERLY, Summer 1983), and in it, Cohen related that "few intellectual and social movements of this century have had so deep and pervasive an influence on the theory and practice of American education as the mental hygiene movement."
Two years after Cohen delivered his speech, the U.S. Department of Education received testimony from around the nation regarding proposed regulations to implement "The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment." Phyllis Schlafly published the testimony in CHILD ABUSE IN THE CLASSROOM (1984), and 3 examples are pertinent to the subject of mental health. Cris Shardelman of the State of Washington explained that "under the guise of Mental Health, a program called WOW was developed at the Northwest Regional Laboratory. This program would have had the primary children exploring their attitudes, beliefs and values concerning such things as double standards, sexual exploitation, guilt and embarrassment about sexual activity, masturbation, homosexuality, and recognition of such words as stud and prostitute....I believe that at least one suicide was the result of the implementation of the suicide section of the mental health program."
Rev. Ronald Wilson of Oregon testified: "My son is scheduled to be instructed in the ideal age to start having sexual intercourse when he takes grade 8. In Mental Health next year, he will be required to complete the sentence" 'In my value system the ideal age to start having sexual intercourse is _____.' Age is not the question in the traditional moral Christian system---marriage is the criterion. By leading the student to assume that age is the criterion, atheistic humanism is being taught."
And Lawrence Dunegan, M.D., of Pennsylvania related that "in our high school recently, in what was called a Health class, 11th grade students were given a series of questions for each of which they were to choose one of two possible answers. They were then told to grade their own papers on a point system according to which answer was given. They were then told that this was a mental health index. They were told right there in the classroom that anybody scoring above a certain number of points had a serious mental health problem and was in need of psychiatric care. At that point, one girl burst into tears right in the middle of her classroom." Dr. Dunegan also indicated that a severe emotional impact was sustained even several days after the questions were presented, and that "those who prepare this kind of material for use in the schools are insensitive to the damage they are doing."
For the elite, human life is not something precious that should be preserved. Human beings are to be bred and managed just like any other useful animal. This is why a leading Fabian Socialist like Harold Laski could write a letter on May 7, 1927, to U. S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (who had just written the eugenic Buck v. Bell decision) saying, "Sterilize all the unfit, among whom I include all fundamentalists." In THE FINAL DAYS by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, they wrote that "in (General Alexander) Haig's presence, (Henry) Kissinger referred pointedly to military men as 'dumb, stupid animals to be used' as pawns for foreign policy." Someone might say at this point that while this is a horrible attitude regarding our servicemen and servicewomen, surely our government would not treat them as animals. Think again! Our government actually has treated military service personnel like laboratory animals.
In an editorial, "Chemical Vets: Disgraceful treatment of a special WWII group" (November 11, 2004), in the DETROIT FREE PRESS, one discovers that an estimated 70,000 American troops were used in some form of chemical experimentation during World War II. The editorial also states that "the men of the Army's 1st Chemical Casual Company were deceived into becoming guinea pigs for inhumane tests of chemical weapons and protective gear during World War II, kept in the dark about the potential consequences of their exposure, denied redress for injuries inflicted on them by their government, and then, as they advanced in years, cruelly promised help that has yet to arrive. This is a shameful situation...." And for those who believe President Bush really cares about the soldiers he has sent to fight and die in Iraq, why don't you ask him why he has just proposed cutting the Veterans Administration 2005 budget request by $1.2 billion over the objections of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs !
How can our government say we have to go to war to bring freedom to people in other countries when there's a war going on in this country to deprive our children of freedom from government intervention and coercion (e.g., mental health screenings, requiring psychotropic drugs, privacy-invading questionnaires, values-altering teaching techniques, etc.)? U.S. Rep. Ron Paul in his February 7, 2005 speech, "What does Freedom Really Mean?" (www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2005/tst020705.htm), explained: "Simply put, freedom is the absence of government coercion....'Liberalism,' which once stood for civil, political, and economic liberties, has become a synonym for omnipotent coercive government....'Conservatism,' which once meant respect for tradition and distrust of active government, has transformed into big-government utopian grandiosity." And Rep. Paul then reminded us of President Ronald Reagan's warning: "Man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts."
Who exactly does the federal government consider someone with a mental health problem? According to the June 1998 FEDERAL REGISTER, the prevalence rate for children with "serious emotional disturbance" (SED) is 10-12%. And what is a seriously emotionally disturbed child? According to at least one state's mental health plan, he or she can be a "child, under the age of 18, with atypical development (up to age 5)." With this broad definition, no wonder they say 10-12% of the child population has SED !
In an effort to block the current federal initiative regarding mandatory mental health screenings of children, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul has introduced H.R. 181 "Parental Consent Act of 2005." And in his January 31, 2005 speech, "Don't Let Congress Fund Orwellian Psychiatric Screening of Kids" (www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2005/tst013105.htm), Rep. Paul states: "Every parent in America should be made aware of a presidential initiative called the 'New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.' This commission issued a report last year calling for the mandatory mental health screening of American schoolchildren, meaning millions of kids will be forced to undergo psychiatric screening whether their parents consent or not.
At issue is the fundamental right of parents to decide what medical treatment is appropriate for their children. Forced mental health screening simply has no place in a free or decent society. The government does not own you or your kids, and it has no legitimate authority to interfere in your family's intimate health matters....It is important to understand that powerful interests, namely federal bureaucrats and pharmaceutical lobbies, are behind the push for mental health screening in schools.
There is no end to the bureaucratic appetite to run our lives, and the pharmaceutical industry is eager to sell psychotropic drugs to millions of new customers in American schools....Refer to my congressional website for articles from September 2004 about mental health screening, and sobering statistics about anti-depressant drugs and kids in the text of H.R. 181. Most of all, talk with your friends, family, and colleagues about the underlying issue of whether the state owns your kids. Remind them that freedom can be maintained only when state power is limited, especially when it comes to fundamental freedoms over our bodies and minds."
And for those who believe the government really cares about our mental health, why do government officials annually recommend that especially older people receive flu shots? Aren't they aware that H. Hugh Fudenberg, M.D. (vice-president director of Research, Neuroimmuno Therapeutics Research Foundation) has indicated that clinically normal individuals aged 60-65 who receive influenza vaccine 3 or 4 times during a 5-year period will 5 years later have an incidence of Alzheimer's disease 10 fold greater than aged matched individuals who did not receive it?
Not only are there questions about the effects of flu shots upon mental health, but there are also questions about the effects of antidepressants upon our mental health. Concerning programs such as TeenScreen (a suicide questionnaire program), Marcia Angell (a medical ethics lecturer at Harvard Medical School and author of THE TRUTH ABOUT DRUG COMPANIES) said, "It's just a way to put more people on prescription drugs" and that such programs would boost the sale of antidepressants like Paxil, Zoloft and Prozac even after the FDA last September ordered warning labels on the drugs saying they might be the cause of suicidal thoughts or actions by minors. This information comes from Hans Eisenman of PR WEB (727-452-5241), who also points out that the originator of TeenScreen, David Shaffer, is a "paid consultant to more than one pharmaceutical company, including GlaxoSmithKline, maker of anti-depression drugs, Paxil and Seroxat.
© 2005 Dennis Cuddy - All Rights Reserved
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Dennis Laurence Cuddy, historian and political analyst, received a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (major in American History, minor in political science). Dr. Cuddy has taught at the university level, has been a political and economic risk analyst for an international consulting firm, and has been a Senior Associate with the U.S. Department of Education.
Cuddy has also testified before members of Congress
on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Cuddy has authored or
edited twenty books and booklets, and has written hundreds of articles
appearing in newspapers around the nation, including The Washington Post,
Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He has been a guest on numerous radio
talk shows in various parts of the country, such as ABC Radio in New York
City, and he has also been a guest on the national television programs
USA Today and CBS's Nightwatch.
At issue is the fundamental right
of parents to decide what medical treatment is appropriate for their children.
Forced mental health screening simply has no place in a free or decent
society. The government does not own you or your kids, and it has no legitimate
authority to interfere in your family's intimate health matters